American Veteran 01

Thomas Joseph Smith

June 4, 1924 ~ May 13, 2021 (age 96)

Obituary


Thomas Joseph Smith 96, of Glenville, passed away on Thursday, May 13, 2021.  Born in Schenectady, NY on June 4, 1924 he was the son of Thomas and Victoria Slowakiewicz Smith.  He graduated from Vincentian Institute in Albany in 1942.  Tom inlisted in the US Marine Corps in November 1942 and served continuously until October 1945 without leave or furlough.  He trained in Parris Island, SC and New River, NC where he was assigned to the Carlson's Raiders Battalion. He was transferred to the 4th Marine Division, 24th Marines, Company F 2nd Battalion as a machine gunner and fought in the Marshall Islands (Roi and Namur) where he was wounded twice.  He participated in the battles for Saipan and Tinian where he was wounded a third time.  Although wounded three times he never lost time, refusing to be evacuated until the battles were over.  His exploits as a rifleman, scout and group leader were well recognized.  He took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima where he witnessed the famous Flag Raising.  He fought 26 days and was one of the very few who survived from his company.  Tom was awarded three Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star.  Following his honorable discharge he returned to work at the Alco Company.  He loved sports, the outdoors, and working with people, especially children.  He and his wife Connie were world travelers, visiting over 60 countries.  On their 50th anniversary, they took a trip around the world.  Tom married the former Connie Zimnick on May 5, 1946 and in the fall, they headed south to the University of Miami where he received his Bachelor of Education degree in 24 months.  He received his Master's and Doctorate degrees from Indiana University.  He served in the Miami-Dade County School system as a teacher, coach, Dean of Boys, Assistant Principal, Principal and Director of the South Area Schools.  After 33 years of creditable service he retired in 1988.  Tom was most proud of his contributions to the Miami-Dade School System.  As a coach, his track teams were undefeated and his basketball teams won championships.  He served as President of the Dade County Classroom Teachers Assn., President of the School Administrators Assn., Director District 10 of Florida Retired Teachers Assn., Vice President and Health Insurance Chairman of Dade County Retired Educators Assn., Community Service Chairman of the State of Florida Retired Educators, where he won a national award from the NRTA.  As school administrator, Tom was involved in developing programs for the integration of the Dade County schools and incoming Cuban population.  He lobbied for the school system when the legislators were in session.  In 1956 he was credited with spearheading the first major salary increase for teachers and developing health insurance programs in the school system.  Tom was a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa, and Phi Delta Kappa fraternities.   When in Schenectady, Tom attended St. Mary's and St. Anthony's parishes.  When in Miami, he was a parishioner at Our Lady of Lakes Church.  He was a Grand Knight of Miami Council #1726 and District Deputy of the Knights of Columbus.  He was a member of Father Andrew Brown Fourth Degree Knights.  He was also a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre with the rank of Knight of the Grand Cross.  Its purpose is to preserve Christianity in the Holy Land and is headed by the Pope.  In 1987-1991 he was the Supreme Commander of the Order of Alhambra and was the originator of the Alhambra House (houses built for the mentally handicapped).  He was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marine Corps. League, Military Order of the Purple Heart (Executive Committee). He was awarded the Felix McCool Americanism Award and Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge Administrator/Educator Award.
 
Tom was predeceased by his loving wife Connie. He is survived by brother, Arthur of Glenville, sister, Veronica Ferris of Houston, TX, and numerous nieces, nephews, godchildren, and cousins.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 10am-12pm at the DeLegge Funeral Home, followed by a service to begin at 12noon.  Interment with full Military Honors will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.


Tom was predeceased by his loving wife Connie. He is survived by brother, Arthur of Glenville, sister, Veronica Ferris of Houston, TX, and numerous nieces, nephews, godchildren, and cousins.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 10am-12pm at the DeLegge Funeral Home, followed by a service to begin at 12noon.  Interment with full Military Honors will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.

Those who wish to remember Tom in a special way may make a contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516 or go to woundedwarriorproject.org

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Joseph Smith, please visit our floral store.


Services

Viewing
Thursday
May 27, 2021

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
DeLegge Funeral Home
1346 Chrisler Ave
Schenectady, NY 12303

Funeral Service
Thursday
May 27, 2021

12:00 PM
DeLegge Funeral Home
1346 Chrisler Ave
Schenectady, NY 12303

Interment
Thursday
May 27, 2021

1:00 PM
St. Mary's Cemetery
738 McClellan St
Schenectady, NY 12304

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